In an attempt to respond to the latest trend of radicalization among disenfranchised youths, artgame studio S.O.C.A.H releases its latest title, The Raintime, which delves into the emergence of alt-right ideas. The Raintime is a visual-novel-style video game that tells the story of William, a young college student who slowly finds himself falling into radical ideology. As his viewpoints gradually grow more extreme, becomes isolated from his social group, drops out of college, and ends up losing himself in negative thought patterns. The tale ends in unrelenting climax.
“We feel that alt-right thought is a pressing topic within current gamer culture,” lead developer lain comments.” Over the last few years, gamers have proven to form a popular recruitment base for extremist political groups. Adolescents and young adults are in a state of mental transition, which makes them prone to projecting insecurities on perceived enemies. In The Raintime we try to explore the ways in which ideology can take hold of the individual.”
When asked about the challenges of portraying a mental shift within protagonist William, creative director Janne explains:
“We wanted to make his change of character believable. William slowly loses himself in a self-construed web of meaning, in which certain extreme viewpoints, like misogyny and racism, intertwine with his whole scale views of society. He’s a dreamer, in a way, who builds up narratives in an attempt to make sense of the society in which he lives. In the end he ends up losing himself in his fantasy world, and things come crashing down around him.”
The Raintime is out in early access mode on video game platform Steam as a free download.
Visit socah.org for more information.